Dell Vostro 3700 review
A hulking 17.3in laptop that will appeal to businesses on a budget
Review Date: 4 Jun 2010
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £429 (£504 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Dell's Vostro range is aimed squarely at fulfilling the needs of the small-business crowd. Its marketing mantra revolves around providing security, service and reliability with minimal outlay.
This, the Dell Vostro 3700, is the hulking giant of the range, and hopes to appeal to those looking for a powerful, semi-portable workstation. The Vostro 3700 clearly wants to reign supreme as the most affordable 17.3in laptop on the market, and, as ever, Dell allows prospective purchasers to tailor the Vostro to suit the tightest of budgets.
The base model, available for £429 exc VAT, harbours a 2.13GHz Core i3 processor, 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk, Intel's integrated HD graphics and bog-standard 802.11bg wireless networking.
Squeeze that modest IT budget as hard as you can, and £645 will see the 3700 upgraded with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M, 4GB of memory, a 320GB hard disk, dedicated Nvidia GT 330M graphics and both Bluetooth and 802.11n wireless. Whichever you choose, though, the 17.3in display shares the same matte finish, 1,600 x 900 resolution and solid, dependable image quality.
Haul all 3kg of the Vostro 3700 onto the desk, and you're faced with a smart, businesslike notebook of daunting proportions. And, while its size might not appeal to some, there's no question that this redesign is the most successful the Vostro range has yet seen.
Reminiscent of the pricier Latitude range, the Vostro still has a clear identity of its own; clean lines and soft, rounded edges form a double act with acres of brushed aluminium framed by matte-black and glossy accents. It's only once you get up close and personal that the Vostro gives any clues as to its budget beginnings.
It's hardly surprising, but it's never going to give the extraordinarily sturdy Dell Precision M6500 a run for its money in the build quality stakes. Grapple heavy-handedly with the base and the odd creak and bit of flex make it clear that Dell has had to scrimp and save to hit such a low price point.
That flexibility is far from chronic, but it does leave the keyboard bereft of a sturdy foundation to build on. So although each key boasts plenty of travel and a positive action, its bouncy feel means it isn't the most comfortable keyboard upon which to type.
It's probably a little much to expect perfection at this price, though, and Dell has clearly worked hard to make the Vostro appeal to its target market.
Take a good long, hard look at the Vostro 3700, and there are plenty of plus points. The metal lid, for example, elicits far more confidence than the base beneath, and valiantly resisted our best efforts to prod and poke it hard enough to foul the TFT panel inside.
- Google buys Oxford University AI startups
- Microsoft Kinect SDK 2 brings apps to Windows Store
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Windows 10: two-factor authentication coming to every device
- What is Google Inbox?
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Apple patent reveals iPhone car control system
- Windows 10 release date, features and how to get the Technical Preview
- Microsoft updates Windows 10 tech preview
- End of an era: Nokia Lumia to become Microsoft Lumia
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- iPad Air 2 vs Nexus 9: Apple and Google's latest high-end tablets compared
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office